Prelude: The Gathering (Clement)

A letter from Poena arrives.
The formal tone of the letter is apparent the moment Clement opens it.
From: Poena filia Postestas Prima Tremeris ab Coeris
To: Clement filius Ignatius doctrinae Tremereis ab Postestas

You are formally requested and required to call upon the Prima Guernicus. She has not responded to letters or other communiques from me or from the Prima Bonisagus. You are to request her presence at a specially convened Grand Tribunal to occur in one months time. We believe she is aware of the time frame for the Grand Tribunal, as it has been made clear in all correspondence the Prima Bonisagi and I have written.
Upon gaining an audience with the Prima you are to formally request her presence as my and the Prima Bonisagus's personal representative. Should she demur, you will return to her your letter, renouncing your status as Quaesitor cum auctoriate. You will explain to the Prima Guernicus that the special Grand Tribunal will have the Primi present (all of them except she has confirmed attendance) and that they will instate you as Presiding Quaesitor of the Grand Tribunal of 1267 and issue you their own letter to reinstate your standing as a Quaesitor. As this will be a matter of the Grand Tribunal, legally instantiated by the Grand Tribunal, she will have effectively given the Primi means to install anyone as a Quaesitor, removing her judgment from these matters in the future. If she agrees and later does not arrive at Grand Tribunal, your letter from her will be returned, and you will have a new letter provided by the Grand Tribunal.

Poena, Prima Tremeris

There is a separate note, folded inside the first,
Apologies for the formal note and lack of warning. Bilera has been unreasonable, and I needed this letter to remain formal so that it could be included into the record of the Grand Tribunal should she prove unable to respond to reason. Be diplomatic as you can. There is a reason she has earned the cognomen of Bitchlera.


Prior to reading this letter, Clement didn't have a clear idea that there was going to be a specially convened Grand Tribunal, although there had been rumors that certain magi had been receiving letters requesting them to come to Durenmar and promising to pay all expenses related to travel and provide accommodations, but no magus or maga was confirming the veracity of these rumors to Clement.

Clement carefully folds the letter and puts it a pocket and exits the lab they had given him in Lycaneon and heads to his quarters. Along the way he asks another servant to send for Niculai, his man servant, and send him to Clement's quarters. Once in his sanctum, Clement goes over to a closet and removes a cedar chest and opens it. After a bit of rummaging, he pulls put some formal robes that make him as a senior Quaesitor and looks at them for a while. A woman's voice drifts across the room.

Odd to just be looking at your formal robes dear.

I must make a trip to Magvillus as required by Poena. Best to look the part.

The ghost of a woman drifts to Clement's side. Will you be gone long?

I do not know Vala my love. I must go to the Grand Tribunal afterwards. A special one. Something big must be happening for all of the Primus to gather.

They are interrupted by a knock at the door as Niculai arrives.

Niculai, I must travel on house business. Please ask the kitchen for a quick meal for me now. Bread, cheese and meat will do. Assemble two traveling packs with five days of food and water skins for the same time. Also alert Lupul that I will need him and tell him to bring his formal attire. The chainmail with the silver and gold inlay. We are to look good if we have to fight. Also alert Falconius that I will be using the Portal to Harco and then to Magvillus. Then from Magvillus to Harco and to Durenmar. All on the House account.

Niculai bows and leaves, closing the door behind him.

Clement puts on his formal robes and packs others in a traveling bag. Afterwards, he places his hand on a section of wall and a stone moves to reveal a small hidden niche. Inside are various small items that he has used in his function as Quaesitor in the past.

I would think you want to be seen rather than not. says a voice from ghost of a tall man with horrible burns on his body.

Yes Nigilius. I always value your advice. I'm looking for something more defensive.

Take my belt then.

Clement gives him a searching look for a moment then pulls out a leather belt with an ornate buckle and puts it around his waist under his robes.

Vala comes in front of him. I shall come with you as well. Her ghostly hand reaches out and touches the ring with a garnet on Clement's left hand. Clement's face has a look of anguish for a moment and he looks down.

Of course my dear.

Clement takes his bags to the kitchen near the portal to get his meal. Niculai is waiting there with Lupul and the provisions. After a meal Clement and his trusted shield grog go to the portal and make the hops to Magvillus appearing in a guard house at the bottom of the hill.

I am Clement, Senior Quaesitor and member of House Tremere. I am here to see Prima Bilera of Guernicus on official business. I request a token to enter the Aegis.

One of the guards jumps to attention and escorts Clement up the mountain to Magvillus, but doesn't offer any conversation. Upon reaching the massive fortress, the guard leads you inside and a page arrives, to see to Clement's needs. Clement informs the page who he is requesting an audience with and the page departs. Clement waits patiently for an hour, expecting to be kept waiting was a likely scenario given the tone of the letter from Poena. Will he wait much longer?

((No token has been given, and the ghosts aren't here, either.))

(( how familiar with the layout is he? ))

Is there an Majordomo or some such person that Clement can talk to? Someone who could get to Bilera if they need to?

Presumably the page would get Bilera. Clement is familiar enough to make his way to the steward/chamberlain/majordomo, someone who has a bit more standing to request an immediate audience. But, of course, the page probably has already done that...

((Still worth a try. How much time does Clement have before the Tribunal is to start? ))

Clement asks a page to fetch the Stewart. When the Stewart arrives...

Please remind Prima Bilera that I, a representative of Poena, Prima of House Tremere and Tria, Prima of House Bonisagus am still waiting. My business will not take long once I can see her.

((Can we assume that Clement has prepared his formal letter of resignation?))


Please send a page to me with a portable writing desk and some parchment and wax.

There is plenty of time, a month or so.

The steward arrives, "I'm answering your summons, Master Clement is it? Of House Tremere? What can I do for you?"

In haughty tones, "Yes, well, I'm sure you can appreciate the demands placed upon Bilera, being Princeps of Magvillus and Prima of House Guernicus, that she can't simply stop to converse with every interlocutor who should decide to pay a visit. Are you certain you are here on the authority of your Prima, and the Prima Bonisagi?" He says the last as if it's a test.

You can have one written if you wish, to present to Bilera, but returning the letter that identifies your status as Quaesitor cum auctoriate is sufficient.

If you have any question about my claims then deny my petition and accept what will fall out because of it. Do not dally long as I can not wait forever. I am expected at the site of the Grand Tribunal within the month.

((I missed that he had a letter appointing him as a Quaesitor. Reading comprehension is not high at times.))

"I will fetch Procella, Bilera has left strict instructions not to be disturbed. Procella may be able to convince Bilera to see you, if you convince Procella, that is." The steward leaves and a few minutes later, a tall woman with a head of steel grey in a long flowing crimson robe with a mantle of brown fur enters.
Being in Rome, you're familiar with Procella, and she's a Traditionalist, "My dear Clement, it is wonderful to see you again. You must tell me the important matter that has flumoxed our steward that he calls upon me to visit." She has a wicked smile about her, as if she knows exactly what is going on.

What a delight it is to see you again Procella. I think your Stewart is simply covering his ass by passing me on to you. I have come here at the behest of Prima Poena and Prima Tria to speak with Prima Bilera about the upcoming Grand Tribunal. I will only take a moment of her time. No more than a diameter.

Procella looks around, a bit nervously. "I had hoped this nonsense of a special Grand Tribunal would be left alone if Bilera didn't respond. Do you know anything about it, why it's so important to convene a Grand Tribunal?"
Clement really doesn't have a clue and says as much to Procella. "Well, that creates something of a problem." She leans in close to Clement and whispers, "She is unable to receive you, and we expect she will be unable to attend. Come with me."
Procella proceeds to lead Clement through the halls of Magvillus and to a door with a sanctum marker on the jamb. She simply opens it and proceeds inside and beckons Clement to follow. An eerie blue light flickers upon the floor of the sanctum.

((If you have no idea where this is going you can make an Magic Theory roll, or simply proceed as you think.))

Magic theory 8 + int 2 + magic theory 8 (1d10=9) = 19

I'm assuming that it is Intelligence add.

Clement realizes that Bilera is in Twilight almost as soon as he steps across the sanctum's threshold. The blue light is shown to be swirling around her frozen figure. Indeed there seems to be an explosion in place of sorts, as part of her lab is also engulfed in the vibrant blue light, with lab equipment in disarray and hanging in mid air.

"We've had a Criamon Quaesitor come and give us an estimate of the length of her Twilight episode. The only thing he could say is it isn't Final."

Clement scratches his chin for a moment in thought while looking at the scene. He shakes his head. After 500 years of this I must wonder why the other Houses do not cover this contingency in our charters. He turns to Procella. Do you have a representative that you can send that would have the same voting powers as Prima Bilera?

Procella looks pensively at Clement, "No, we do not. And I'm afraid that it will turn our house into disarray, Traditionalists and Transitionalist are evenly divided still, Bilera has been the force keeping us calm. At least here in Magvillus the sides have agreed to keep this news quiet, but some of the others, of either side could take it as a sign to push their view. There is no one quite like Bilera." Procella asks, "What is the purpose of this special Grand Tribunal, anyway?"

((Some appropriate rolls are advised here. I'll let you decide, and make the case for the decision.))

((I'm not sure of what skills needed to roll. I do have an idea of what to do.))

I will need to think for a bit on this. Can you give me a room for the night and a token for your Aegis? I will not contact anyone about your...situation.

Clement will try to get a reading on Procella

Per 4 + Folk Ken 6 +Folk Ken (1d10=3) = 13.

He will want to fathom what would be the consequences if they went forward with the plan to resign and then be appointed Tribunal Quaesitor. How would it effect Guernicus.
Int 2 + Code of Hermes 4 + Code of Hermes (1d10=5) = 11 ( I can spend confidence if needed)

Well, there is the Traditionalist and Transitionalist divide that needs to be considered here. As a Traditionalist, she's not keen on someone taking the place of the Prima at Grand Tribunal, but if it is, it should probably be a Traditionalist (of course, it should be her).

This is completely uncharted territory for the Code. The best guess is that everything would be best if they could have the Prima Guernicus, or something approximating the Prima Guernicus. But if a Traditionalist goes the Transitionalists will be upset and vice versa.

"Of course, we can invite you to stay, come with me, and I'll acquire a token, and then have someone show you to quarters. I'm not afraid of anyone knowing about this, it's obviously going to be news, I'd rather it be sooner than later."

I'm more interested in knowing what precedence would be set if Clement were elected Tribunal Quaesitor without Prima Guernicus being present ( and not of her choosing).

Clement will take his evening to write a letter to Bilera explaining the decision if she does not come out of twilight before the Tribunal starts. It will be noted to be opened only if she comes out of twilight after the Tribunal starts. He will write out a second letter explaining the choices as given to Clement by Poena that will be sealed and said to be opened if she comes out of twilight before the Tribunal starts. Clement will want both to be with his letter which appointed him as a Quaesitor.

In the morning, Clement will ask Procella if we may address the Inner Council on this matter.

Ahh. Well the consequences are unknown, you can make some guesses, but you need to roll some Code of Hermes...
Bilera doesn't have a choice as to when she comes out of Twilight, it happens when it happens. You can reasonably guess that Poena and Tria don't know about the Twilight, and might wish to proceed differently given the circumstances.